WASHINGTON — Audrae Erickson is stepping down as president of the Corn Refiners Association, effective Dec. 31, the C.R.A. announced Nov. 21. Ms. Erickson, who has accepted a position at a pediatric nutrition company, will be succeeded by Patrick Mohan, who will serve as acting president.

“Audrae has been an exceptional president of C.R.A. for almost a decade and we will greatly miss her energy, broad Washington experience, integrity, and leadership,” said Matt Wineinger, C.R.A. chairman. “Audrae deserves enormous credit for her many contributions in the areas of public affairs, international trade and consumer education. In the meantime, we are fortunate to have someone of Pat Mohan’s experience and stature to ensure we remain on course as we seek a new president.”

During Ms. Erickson’s tenure, the C.R.A. was thrust into a highly visible battle over the nutritional profile of a principal product made by corn refiners — high-fructose corn syrup. The group defended HFCS as nutritionally equivalent to sugar, promoting this position with science-based information and a major public relations campaign.

Ms. Erickson joined the C.R.A. in 2002 as its president, initially working on reopening the Mexican market for corn sweeteners in accordance with the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Also under her leadership, the C.R.A. addressed priority international and domestic public policy matters for the industry, the group said.

Before coming to the C.R.A., Ms. Erickson held positions at the American Farm Bureau Federation, the office of the United States Trade Representative, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Mr. Mohan, who will be acting president, was on the C.R.A. board from 1988 to 2011. He served as chairman and treasurer for a number of years. He retired in 2009 as an executive with Tate & Lyle Americas L.L.C.

“C.R.A. has an engaged board and an experienced staff, all of whom I know well,” Mr. Mohan said. “I am fully confident that together we will keep the organization running smoothly until a new president is brought on board.”

While Mr. Mohan serves, a search will be conducted for a permanent president of the C.R.A.